Update: As of October 6th, 2014, Maelstrom is officially closed until it re-opens as the Frozen ride in 2016.
No doubt you’ve heard the news today that Maelstrom is going to be replaced with a Frozen ride. The potentially good news is that Disney used the word “replace” instead of something like “enhance” and the ride will not reopen for at least another 18 months. That means that hopefully we’ll get a major overhaul to house Frozen, instead of the pretty lame enhancement to Pirates, for example, where they just stuck Captain Jack Sparrow in a few random places. At least the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment in Disneyland had a lot of pizazz, so hopefully this will the minimum bar set for Maelstrom.
For me, personally, I am all for updates as long as they’re done right. But, on the other hand, with Universal Studios building tons of brand new state-of-the-art parks and attractions, it seems like Disney may be falling a bit flat on expansions. I understand that a lot of money is tied up over in Shanghai, but that should not also be a reason to let the North America parks sit somewhat idly by. If Disney continues to “replace” instead of “invent” and “create”, then pretty soon Universal is going to close what used to be a pretty massive parity gap. I’d like to see Disney seriously keep that gap of awesome pretty wide.
My advice for Disney would have been to leave Maelstrom alone, and build a brand new dark ride for Frozen somewhere in Fantasyland which is, in my opinion, where it truly belongs. What do you all think?